New Image by James Webb: Best View of the Cartwheel Galaxy

The James Webb Space Telescope continues to produce great photos. Now their instruments have peered into the chaos of the galaxy Cart wheelrevealing new details about star formation and black holes.

This particular galaxy does not appear alone. The powerful infrared gaze del Webb made a detailed snapshot of Cartwheel, but also of two companion galaxies smaller ones against the backdrop of many other galaxies. The snapshot, which also reveals the behavior of the black hole in the galactic center of the galaxy, gives new insight into how this He changed over billions of years, point out the American NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) in separate press releases.

The Cartwheel galaxy, located about 500 million light years in the constellation of the Sculptor, it is a rare sight. their appearancemuch like a cartwheel, is the result of an intense event: a high-speed collision between a large spiral galaxy and a smaller one, not visible in this image.

Collisions of galactic proportions they always cause a cascade of different and smaller events between the galaxies involved; The cartwheel is no exception. The collision mainly affected its shape and structure. This galaxy has two rings, a bright interior and a colorful exterior. These extend outward from the center of the collision, like ripples in a pond after a stone has been thrown into it. Because of these distinctive features, astronomers call it “ring galaxy” or ring, a less common structure than spiral galaxies like the Milky Way.

The bright core contains a huge amount of hot dust, and the brightest areas are home to gigantic clusters of young stars. On the other hand, the outer crown, which has been widening for some 440 million years oldis dominated by star formation and supernovae. As this ring expands, it penetrates the surrounding gas and triggers star formation.

It is not the first time that a telescope captures an image of this stellar group – the Hubble it does, for example – but the dramatic galaxy has been shrouded in mystery – perhaps quite literally, given the amount of dust obscuring the view – point out NASA and ESA.

the Web, with its ability to detect infrared light, now discover new data on its nature. For example, the information collected by the MIRI instrument reveal regions in the galaxy rich in hydrocarbons and other chemical compounds, as well as silicate dust. These regions form a series of spiral rays that essentially form the backbone of the galaxy. These had previously been seen in Hubble observations published in 2018, but they become much more prominent in this Webb image.

The image highlights that Cartwheel is in a very transitional phase. The galaxy, which was presumably a normal spiral galaxy like the Milky Way before its collision, will continue to transform. Although the telescope offers a snapshot of its current state, it gives an overview what happened to this galaxy in the past and how it will evolve in the future.

The collaboration of NASA, ESA and the Canadian CSA made possible the James Webb, which also Spanish participation and whose first image was known on July 11.

On its Twitter account, NASA said today: “Webb is on a roll!”, while the ESA wrote, “Who’s ready for some stellar gymnastics? This beautiful new image of Webb reveals new details about star formation and black holes.”

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